Mobile gaming company AppLovin starts trading at $70, giving it a market cap of about $24 billion

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Mobile gaming company AppLovin began trading Thursday at $70 per share. 

The nine-year-old company, which has a portfolio of mobile games and also sells marketing services to game companies, now has a market cap of about $24 billion. It began trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker “APP.” 

AppLovin is just the latest in a wave of gaming IPOs, with gaming software developer Unity Software launching its own in September, Israel’s Playtika in January and kids game company Roblox in March. IronSource, which provides ad services for app-based game developers and makes games of its own, also plans to go public via a SPAC merger. 

AppLovin said it holds about 1% of market share of the $189 billion global mobile apps market, which has exploded during a stay-at-home year. 

“We’ve been seeing it since we started the business; people are using their phones four or five hours a day. Mobile apps are the most accessible and affordable forms of entertainment, the best transactional commerce access points,” founder and CEO Adam Foroughi told CNBC. 

Foroughi said when he started the business, it was focused on building a tech platform for mobile app developers to grow their apps by marketing using its software.

“For nine years, we built that. We got to distribution of now seeing over 400 million customers on our platform every single day. Then in 2018, we got into content ourselves, and started building effectively original content,” he said. “We have over 200 apps [and] over 200 million people are playing games of ours every single month. And those games, our own content, build this valuable audience insight data that then feeds our software platform, and makes it even more efficient at driving value to the customers that we have in terms of getting their apps discovered.” 

AppLovin’s business is now split between games and marketing tools that other game developers use for app discovery and promotion. Last year, 49% of revenue came from businesses using its software and 51% came from consumers making in-app purchases.

In 2016, AppLovin agreed to be acquired for $1.4 billion by Chinese private equity firm Orient Hontai Capital, but that deal